by Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
What do dads want for Father’s Day? Ask any group of fathers and many will tell you the same thing: to just have a nice day with the family. And maybe indulge a bit in some of their favorite things. In Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, you can easily do that with any of the special events taking place around Father’s Day. The holiday weekend traditionally brings a good number of food and drink festivals, special tours, fishing and golf tournaments, and festive events including classic car and aviation shows. See our special annual list for ideas, and Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there!
Father’s Day weekend events 2018
As always, please note that all events are subject to change, often on short notice, and some events may be subject to weather-related changes or cancellations. It’s a good idea to confirm details in advance directly with the event organizers (the links to the official sites are noted below).
FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVALS
- Taste of Reston, Fri.-Sat., June 15-6: Head to the Reston Town Center for two days of food and drinks, plus live entertainment, a Family Fun Zone, and a wine and dine area. Free admission; purchase tickets for food and wine and carnival rides.
- Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, Fri.-Sat., June 15-16: Go whole hog: 60 beers, 40 bourbons, and a lot of barbecue await dads and guests at National Harbor in nearby southern Maryland. Enjoy live rock and blues music all day, plus a 5,000-square-foot games area. Tickets are around $40 per person; kids 12 and under are free.
- Manassas Wine and Jazz Festival, Sat., June 16: The annual festival on the lawn of the Manassas Museum features more than 15 Virginia wineries, craft vendors, and jazz from headliner Marcus Johnson and other guests; tickets are $40 with tastings or $20 without.
- Father’s Day Weekend at Mount Vernon, Sat.-Sun., June 16-17: Spend Father’s Day with the Father of our Country! General Washington greets visitors and poses for photos on this weekend, which includes special presentations and a Father’s Day buffet (on Sun. 6/17, $40 per person) at the Mount Vernon Inn. Regular admission fees apply: $17-20 adults, $16 -19 seniors, $9-10 youth 6-11, and free to kids age 5 and under.
- Free Tours at Prince William historic sites, Sat.-Sun., June 16-17: Enjoy the outdoors, military history, and learning about historic construction and preservation: All fathers (and kids) who visit Rippon Lodge, Ben Lomond or Brentsville Courthouse during Father’s Day weekend receive complimentary tours.
- Father’s Day Woodcarving at Colvin Run Mill, Sun., June 17: Historic Colvin Run Mill invites fathers to a free woodcarving lesson (there is a nominal charge for wood blanks), noon-4 pm. Dads accompanied by their kids also get free tours of the mill and miller’s house (other adults are $7 each).
- Alexandria Free Father’s Day Tours, Sun., June 17: Friendship Firehouse Museum is free for fathers and their families on Father’s Day, 1-4 pm. The firehouse photographer will be on duty, so dads can take home a complimentary photograph with historic equipment. There will be free fire hats for children and free admission for all. Gadsby’s Tavern also hosts fathers with free admission for them ($5 all other adults and $3 for kids) plus special historic visitors. The Stadler-Leadbeater Apothecary also offers free tours for fathers ($5 other adults and $3 for kids).
PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES
- Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display, Sat., June 16 See nearly 50 vintage, recreational, and home-built aircraft flown in for one day only, plus classic cars, presentations, and special hands-on activities for kids. Free admission; $15 parking.
- Fairfax Station Railroad Museum N-Trak display, Sat.-Sun., June 16-17: The Fairfax Station Railroad Museum is always a great choice for train buffs of all ages! Father’s Day weekend the museum hosts an NTRAK display. Admission is $3 adults, $1 kids.
- Burke Lake Park Miniature Train, any day: When was Dad ‘s last train ride around Burke Lake Park? With mini-golf, a carousel, picnic areas, an ice cream parlor, marina, trails, and gold, you can spend a full day there! Train rides are $2.75 each (carousel rides are $2 each).
- Sully Antique Car Show, Sun., June 17: This annual vintage car show at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly has more than 400 antique and classic cars, plus a craft, antiques, and auto market; live 1950s music; tours; demos; and a kids’ tent with old-fashioned toys, games and crafts. Admission is $10 adults, $8 seniors, and $6 kids.
ON THE GREEN AND ON THE WATER
- Father’s Day Golf Tournament, Sat., June 16: Dads and kids ages 7 and up can take part in a golf tournament at Burke Lake Golf Course. Teams of 2 players compete for prizes in an 18-hole scramble.
- Great Country Farms Fish-a-Rama, Sun. June 17: Great Country Farms in nearby Bluemont is well worth the drive with so much to do, from playground fun to visiting farm animals and shopping in the country store. On Father’s Day, treat Dad to a fun-filled day with barbecue and catch-and-release fishing, and even compete in the Fish-a-Rama tournament. Admission is $8 child, $10 adult.
JUST PLAIN FUN
- Fun at the water park, any day! With warm days here, let Dad cool off at any of the area’s 10 seasonal water parks… no need to hunt them down — our list has them all in one place for you!
- Picnic at the park, any day! If Dad just wants a laid-back, relaxing day, pack a picnic with his favorite foods and go to your nearest park,lake, or river! Many parks have boat tours rent canoes and pedal boats.